There are moments that give you pause and make you take stock of your life. Like the other night, I saw an ad for Viagra on the CBS Evening News, that was followed by an ad for Beano and after that one for Lipitor, that cholesterol medicine. I sat back and thought, I must be the youngest person watching the CBS Evening news. If you're having trouble in the front, in the back and in the arteries, you're old.
But that impotence, flatulence, artery blockage ad cluster got me thinking... first of all, that you should never run a news story about a natural gas shortage next to a Beano ad.
And then beyond that I thought, are my wife and I prepared for old age and retirement? What investments have we made over the past few years that will help secure our future?
If a secure future is the yard stick you measure by then it was probably a mistake to put all our money into monkeychow.com, a pet food service that delivers directly to the pet. When I first read their prospectus it looked golden, everybody has a pet but not everybody has the time to feed it.
But even though delivery was free monkeychow.com had all the staying power of Norwegian wine futures... another bad investment. I drive a Volvo and I thought if the people that make this car start making wine it's bound to be good... Well, as it turns out you can't make quality wine that close to the arctic circle. Their growing season is too short, the grapes only got to the size of a pea before winter hit so they had to add so much sugar to make the wine drinkable...
And anyway, after reading the owner's manual I found out Volvos are made in Sweden. So my Norwegian wine futures had all the fiscal staying power of cigars.com. An investment I, thankfully, didn't make. But only because I had put all our savings into monkeychow and the Norwegian wine thing.
What's my point? If you're paying attention there are sign posts in life and you will get the information you need. And according to the signposts, before I need Viagra, Beano and Lipitor just to have sex without producing a heart attack or an embarrassing backfire I need to make a lot of money and save it somewhere safe because, no matter if you buy and hold or try to time the market, monkeychow.com and Norwegian wine futures are not a stock portfolio I can retire on.